Nick drew this picture of himself training an owl. Who knows what will happen when he gets older?
Here are three pictures of operation
rescue. From in the laundry basket to
WINGS "N" THINGS
This page will be devoted to the bits and pieces of rehabbing.
First on this page will be our gratitude to Don Cashmore, our bait shop owner in New London. If it were not for "Cash" we would go broke buying suckers and minnows for our fish eaters at The Feather. One fish eating bird can consume many, many minnows. We have done bitterns, loons, great blue herons, black crowned night herons, green herons, and a couple of eagles. Can you imagine the amount of fish to satisfy these birds? Cash has always been there for us, and made sure the birds always had their fill of food. He supports our efforts in wildlife...
A special thanks to Pat Fisher and The Feather, words cannot explain the experience I had being able to hold the Redtail Hawk. It was an experience that goes very deep into my heart and one that I will always treasure!!
Our oldest son Andy died on Dec 10, 2007 at the age of 22. As you can image it hit us very hard and we are living one day at a time. He was loved by many and will always be remembered as one who truly enjoyed life and made the most of every day. He loved to play jokes on people, be goofy and have fun, but also had a serious side to him and was there when you needed him and would give you the shirt off his back.
On new years day morning, Jan. 1, 2008, my husband and I were sitting at our dining table having our morning coffee, when all of a sudden this huge bird came out of no where and landed on our deck railing just 10' from where we were sitting. He had his wings wide open, then kinda fluffed them before tucking them in. He sat there looking in at us which seemed like forever, but was about 2 minutes, then took off. I lost it and began crying and said, "it's Andy." We both had this overwhelming feeling that it truly was Andy and that he came back to us to tell us he is fine, he is big and strong and has his wings!! I must also tell you that we had never seen a Redtail hawk in our neighborhood before this date and we have lived in our home for 20 years. Here's another kicker, we live on Redtail Dr, also on his urn we had the words "Forever Flyin' High".
We have since seen the redtail hawk many many times, he seems to come around when we are feeling down, or just to lift our spirits and to let us know he is still around and watching over us. We have also seen his babies, once they have grown enough to fly, we had one last summer land in our back yard and then again this summer in the neighbors tree directly across the street from us as we were sitting outside.
So as you can now imagine, the experience of coming out to The Feather and actually being able to hold the redtail hawk, is something I treasure very much and will never forget!!
Again, Thank you very much!!
Barred owl release by Nick Ritchie
On New Years eve 2007 this barred owl was released in a swampy area north of New London, Wisconsin by a student on my school bus. Nick Ritchie had made me an owl Christmas card and what better way to say "thank you" than by letting him release the owl at his house. The next school day I brought a few photos of him and the owl and he passed them around to the others students on the bus.
Photo by Debra Gehring
This young man was hunting on November 26th, 2006 and found this immature red tailed hawk in the woods. He gave up his hunting for the rest of the day to make sure the hawk was taken care of. I admire this young hunter and all that hunting stands for. He cared enough to help an injured animal and gave up some precious hunt time. The following is how he found the bird in his own words.
"We were doing a deer drive and it was nearing the end of the drive, when I found this bird. When I saw him, I thought that he may have had a wounded wing or something, so I called my uncle Brad over and asked him what to do. The bird was sitting on a log overlooking the river. I walked over to him slowly so I would not scare him and put my hand out so that he would not fly at me, and I picked him up. His talons looked so big. I am 17 year old and have been hunting for 5 years now. This year I shot a pretty nice sized doe."
If all goes well and this bird makes the winter here at the Feather, some sunny day in April 2006 he will be put back into his world. Greg Gehring will do the honors by releasing him back to the wind.
March 30,2005 we received a call stating that the wind the night before in the Green Bay area blew two baby great horned owls from their nest and they were on the ground.. They wanted to know what to do with the baby owls, we suggested a trip to the local Hobby Lobby for a wicker laundry basket , some rope, a tall ladder and a brave person to put the basket back up in the tree. They did all four. While the basket was being found the owl babies waited in a basket on the ground. The mother was seen trying to cover both owls from the weather and bringing mice for them to eat while the problem was being discussed. The photos below tell the story of the grounded owls and their return to their mother within a 24 hour period.
See message to the left for the account of the "day in the life of caring humans"
Safe and sound in new nest, mother returned soon after photo was taken.
Brad Binder, son of Jim Binder, releasing an immature red tailed hawk on April 12, 2004. The bird was found by Brad's dad a Wisconsin state trooper on the side of the road. The bird was wintered over, was killing live prey and was released in the area.
Tom Pliska on behalf of Wal-Mart of Waupaca came to our aid in the form of a $1000 donation in April of 2004. Tom is presenting the check to volunteer Carol Mcllraith of New London. The check was used to further educational programs at The Feather.
Corbin Klein shown here is holding Becka the American Kestrel at a program given at Maplewood Middle School. The School on the lake charter school did a program for the 75 third graders from Spring Road Elementary school. It touched on many aspects of birds and their habits. The instructors for the third graders were the seventh and eighth graders from the charter school. A one of kind teaching experience. The birds of The Feather were honored to be a part of this learning process.
In late summer a neighbor, Ethan Hankey, was looking for a project for his eagle scout badge and lucky for us he came to The Feather.
The following photos were taken by his mother during the project.
Ethan Hankey, on left, works on his project for the badge.
Ethan's friends lend a helping hand.
finished product. Three carrying cages for the birds at the Feather
|On November 6th, Ethan received his eagle scout badge. He is shown here with Seneca, the red tailed hawk, and the carrying cage he built for the bird.|
|Copyright © fisher 2004|